I loved this book when I was in college. I was writing a lot of fiction then about two young people in a relationship and I was really struggling with writing about their intimate life. It inspired me and helped me to stretch to places that I was not previously comfortable with.
Bernie N. (Bernie) reviewed The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers on
Novelist Benedict (Safe Conduct, Farrar, 1993), currently on the faculty of Princeton University's Creative Writing Program, has written a book for fiction writers who would like to write better sex scenes. She is not concerned with pornography but with using sex as an element of plot to carry the story forward. The author quotes from many writers whom she interviewed to illustrate her points, from Sandra Cisneros on the young girl who lost her virginity at 12 in Woman Hollering Creek to Carol Shields on sex between long-married couples in Stone Diaries to Allen Barnett in a chapter on sex in the age of AIDS. Benedict's focus is on writing good sex scenes, which don't rely on clinical sex but rather on character, dialog, and plot. Well done; recommended for writing collections
The author points out (correctly) that sex scenes are action scenes and should be written with the same touch as any other action scene. Of course, there's more to it, simply because each of us carries a certain amount of baggage on this subject. She gives strong examples of scenes that are done well and points out what makes them work. An excellent resource for romance writers and others who need to but are hesitant to write such scenes.